Peter’s Correspondence on Mailing List B
Correspondent No 21
RESPONDENT: I, like some of the other list contributors, am unclear about what you’re suggesting is the way out of the human predicament of ‘malice and sorrow’.
PETER: All sentient beings are born pre-primed with certain distinguishing instincts, the main ones being fear, aggression, nurture and desire. They are blind nature’s rather clumsy software package designed to give one a start in life and to ensure the survival of the species. While absolutely essential in the days of roaming man-eating animals, rampant disease, high infant mortality, these very same instinctual passions now threaten the survival of the species. The instincts only ‘care’ for the survival of the species – the strongest, most aggressive, the crudest. Further, blind nature gives not a fig for your happiness or well-being. We are relentlessly driven, despite our good intentions and moral codes, to act instinctually in each and every situation in our lives and this is the cause of all our angst and confusion. The instinctual program is located in the primitive ‘lizard’ brain and the almost instantaneous thoughtless automatic instinctual response is termed the ‘quick and dirty’ response. The primitive area of the brain makes an initial quick scan of all sensorial input and, if an instinctive reaction is required, almost instantaneously floods the body and neo-cortex with chemicals which then inevitably cause an automatic and unfettered emotional response – hence an instinctive thoughtless reaction becomes an instinctual passionate reaction. Thus one is ‘overcome’ by feelings of despair or sadness, ‘overwhelmed’ with rage or anger, ‘compelled’ to blindly defend one’s ‘own’ and relentlessly ‘driven’ by sexual urges – regardless of the sensibleness and appropriateness of the action.
Fear hobbles us with a desperate need to huddle together, belong to a group, to seek solace in tradition and the past, to cling on to whatever possessions and beliefs we hold dear to ourselves, to frantically resist change and, as death approaches, desperately seek immortality.
Aggression causes us to fight for our territory, our possessions, our ‘rights’, for those we consider our ‘own’ and for our treasured beliefs. We fight for power over others lest they have power over us, or throw our lot in to fight for someone who offers us their power and protection. We lash out at others for no apparent reason and when control breaks down the innate lust to kill, maim and torture readily surfaces as is evidenced by the fact that 160,000,000 people have been killed in wars this century alone and repression, torture, domestic violence, rape, sexual abuse, persecution, corruption, murder and suicide are endemic to the Human Condition.
Nurture causes us to care for, comfort and protect those we consider our ‘own’ and leads to dependency, jealousy, empathy, duty, sacrifice and needless heroism. When nurture fails within the species, as it inevitably does, we turn to animals, pets, trees, ‘endangered’ species, ‘mother’ earth and other non-reciprocating, safe objects.
Desire drives us to sexual avarice and a blind urge to impregnate, procreate and reproduce ourselves – come what may. The relentless desire to accumulate, amass, covet, dominate, control and obliterate is the direct cause of poverty, corruption, hunger and famine.
The Holy pretence of rising above the animal-instinctual mortal into the good, Divine and immortal is but a delusion and has failed to curb the ongoing instinctual violence and suffering of sentient human beings. The belief that instincts are a constant fixed program ‘you can’t change human nature’ or ‘we are feeling beings’ is forever dooming this planet to the human-made hell it really is, as directly experienced by the many, or watched in comfort and comparative safety by the few on TV news reports.
Contrary to popular belief instinctual passions are not ‘hardware’ but ‘software’ and as such they can be deleted – thereby paving the way for the possibility of actual peace on earth. The time is now ripe and most humans, given sufficient will and intent, are now capable of weakening the chemical stranglehold that instinctual passions have on their thoughts and behaviour to such an extent that they can become virtually free of their influence. Then, and only then, is it possible that their elimination will occur through a mutation in the brain-stem causing a total and complete disconnection from their source in our primitive animal brain.
RESPONDENT: It’s all very well proposing peace on earth but where does the motivation for that come from?
PETER: Altruism, pure and simple. There is an innate disposition in the human species to sacrifice oneself for others, be it our child, our mate, our tribe or our God. This innate passion needs to be combined with the pure intent accessed from the pure consciousness experience, when ‘I’ am temporarily in abeyance, whereupon peace on earth is experienced to be already always here. Thus, it is clear that ‘I’ stand in the way of peace on earth being actualized and the only thing ‘I’ can do is ‘self’-immolate – an act of altruism.
RESPONDENT: There has to be some recognition in each of us that goodness can exist. If that’s not the case then we’re doomed.
PETER: After 17 years on the spiritual path fervently practicing goodness I had to admit that I still got annoyed, upset, peeved, sad, worried, that I blamed others and could not live with one other person in peace and harmony. What I did was stop turning away from the fact that goodness did not mean an end to malice and sorrow – I was simply ignoring my feelings, rising above them, disidentifying from them and becoming totally dissociated from them.
Human beings all accept the fact that they are doomed, as in ‘life’s a bitch and then you die’, which is why they pray to God for help, or try to become a God-on-earth, hoping for an ultimate peace and fulfillment in a spurious after-life.
PETER: In these ‘self’-less pure experiences, one is the universe experiencing itself as a flesh and blood human being.
RESPONDENT: This was only part of my own experience. What struck me more than anything else was the revelation that ‘I’ was not the body. Even though I recognized that I was in a particular human body, ‘I’ in fact existed beyond space and time and that when the body died ‘I’ would still exist. My experience was unlimited consciousness without any boundaries or limitation, eternal and aware of itself. (It’s difficult to put this into words as it immediately creates a sense of limitation). I can’t even claim that this revelation was ‘mine’. What was revealed was definitely not a ‘status quo viewpoint’ it was the absolute Truth beyond question.
PETER: What you have described very well is the classic dissociative Altered State of Consciousness that results from the pursuit of Eastern religious belief. For followers of monotheist religions these experiences of Truth are that one hears God, becomes His faithful messenger and servant in the firm knowledge that one will get to meet thy Maker after death. These ASC experiences are most common during ‘dark nights of the soul’, after imbibing hallucinogenic drugs, after intense periods of prayer, meditation or some similar spiritual practice. Although these experiences are other-worldly, ‘self’ aggrandizing and always relates to a salvation or an immortality for one’s ‘self’, what is most telling is that, there are differing cultural/ religious variations in these Truth experiences. A Buddhist never hears Jesus talking, a Jew never feels he is Maitreya, – everyone experiences what he or she have been taught they should experience as the absolute Truth or God.
I could never reconcile that if the Truth was the truth as in a fact, how come so many variations were experienced and how come humans ended up fighting and killing each other over whose version of the Truth was really, really true.
PETER: ... what I am proposing is peace on earth, as this flesh and blood body only, in this lifetime.
RESPONDENT: So I can’t agree with this, as I know that ‘I’ am not ONLY this body.
PETER: Fair enough. If you have had these types of experiences they are very convincing, which is why people claim to ‘know’. What I am saying is obviously not for you for you obviously have no doubt that ‘you’ are an immortal eternal spirit, not a flesh and blood earthling.
RESPONDENT: I believe that when each of us recognize our own True nature, the Self, then this realization MUST be lived (i.e. in time and space as the body), and only then will peace on earth exist.
PETER: Well, Eastern religion has been around for over 3,000 years in the East and there are stuff-all signs of anything remotely resembling peace on earth despite some estimated 1,000 Self-realized beings having spread this same message.
This common belief won’t happen simply because everyone is barking up the wrong tree – in all religious pursuit, peace on earth in this lifetime, is always readily sacrificed for the utterly selfish pursuit of immortality and the fantasy of a peace after physical death.
RESPONDENT: All pain, suffering and aggression comes from the mistaken identification that we are ONLY the body, thought and feeling.
PETER: ... and once one realizes this mistake then one can dis-identify and dissociate from one’s own pain, suffering and aggression and identify as a bodiless spirit that is immortal, and therefore ‘above’ it all.
Generally speaking, all dissociative reactions are attempts to escape from excessive trauma tension and anxiety by separating off parts of one’s personality function from the rest of cognition as an attempt to isolate something that arouses anxiety and thus gain distance from it. For example, in everyday life, mild and temporary dissociation, sometimes hard to distinguish from repression and isolation, is a relatively common and normal device used to escape from severe emotional stress and anxiety. Temporary episodes of transient estrangement, depersonalization and de-realization are often experienced by normal persons when they first feel the initial impact of bad news, for instance.
Everything suddenly looks strange and different; things seem unnatural and distant; events can be indistinct and vaporous; often the person feels that they themselves are unreal and everything takes on a dream-like quality. Dissociation becomes abnormal when the once mild or transient expedient becomes too intense, lasts too long, or escapes from a person’s control ... and leads to a separation from the surroundings which seriously disturbs object relations.
In object estrangement the once familiar world of ordinary objects – the world of people, things and events – seems to have undergone a disturbing and often indescribable change. Thus, just as a traumatized victim of an horrific and terrifying event makes the experience unreal in order to cope with the ordeal, all the Gurus and the God-Men, the Masters and the Messiahs, the Avatars and the Saviours and the Saints and the Sages have desperately done precisely this thing (during what is sometimes called ‘the dark night of the soul’). Mystics have been transmogrifying the real world ‘reality’ into an unreal ‘True Reality’ via the epi-phenomenal imaginative/intuitive facility born of the psyche (which is formed by the instinctual passions genetically endowed by blind nature for survival purposes) for millennia.
Mysticism in general is a psychotic sickness; a head-in-the-sand escapist ‘solution’ to all the ills of humankind and is otherwise described (in non-psychiatric terminology) as ‘Theodicy’ (a vindication of a god’s and/or goddess’s goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil). The altered state of consciousness known as ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’ is nothing more and nothing less than a frantic coping-mechanism that became culturally institutionalized, into being a legitimate and venerated social metaphysics, over thousands and thousands of years.
RESPONDENT: So Peter, I’m interested to know where your own passion for peace on earth comes from.
PETER: Altruism, pure and simply. A burning desire to see an end to the senseless wars, repression, torture, domestic violence, rapes, child abuse, corruption, murders, suicides, depression, loneliness, despair and spiritual fantasies in the world and the sincere intent to do the only thing ‘I’ can to contribute to peace on earth – ‘self’-immolate.
RESPONDENT: Thanks for your dialogues.
PETER: You may not be thanking me if you understood that what I am saying is 180 degrees opposite to your spiritual knowing.
But I write for the ‘doubters’ – those who still have some common sense operating.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.